I came across this sentence on Twitter and it goes like this... the reason why ex-lovers remain friends is either because they’re still in love or they were never in love with each other in the first place. Is there a grain of truth in that?
There are breakups and divorces and if the circumstances are right, an ex wife can remain friends with the ex husband and the ex girlfriend can remain friends with the ex husband. With the ex married couple; they usually remain friends if the divorce was amicable. They could still be love with each other but are simply not compatible enough to live together and there are some couples- married or dating- are better off as friends than lovers anyway and manage to salvage their friendship after the marriage ends, not always though.
But there are marriages which end badly with a bitter divorce, maybe because of adultery, a flaw on the part of the husband or the wife or if it was an abusive relationship. If a woman ended things with an abusive, possessive boyfriend, she wouldn’t feel inclined to see him ever again; so friendship is out. With a cheating husband, the woman would most likely tolerate him if there are children involved.
But what about the case where the breakup isn’t mutual; where the party- especially the woman- is still in love with the ex? She could feel betrayed if the reason is because another woman and would be bitter about it. But would she be willing or capable of being merely friends with him?
There’s a friend of mine who had several boyfriends but there was a significant one whom she still regards as the love of her life. When she saw him again after they drifted apart, 15 years had gone by and she was devastated to see he was now married with four children. Devastated, because the moment she laid eyes on him, she knew she’d never stopped loving him. But being around him was very hard for her; all she could think about was what could’ve been and wishing it was. He was over friendly towards her but she was the opposite, she was distant; more melancholy than jealous. She was glad he was happy but also knew she couldn't be friends with him, the old feelings were still there and she couldn't pretend nor could she show them. For her, it was all or nothing and there was no way she would welcome an affair if it ever crossed his mind and it wouldn’t because he’s a committed family man. Friendship was out of the question, in her case.
Aside from the exceptional cases; where love but incompatibility was the cause and the decision to break up/divorce was mutual and amicable, I don’t think women can actually be friends with their ex-husbands or lovers. There’ll always be the stabs of bitterness, the sad moments when they reflect on “what might have been” or resentment for their successors and that is a usual scenario. Based on these reasons, it’s probably best if they simply remain as distant as possible or just learn to tolerate each other if they have no other choice, but not actual friendship.